As the group finished their conversation with Samaritha about the Cyphermage’s situation, a call from the watch above sounded, bringing chills – ‘Here they come again!’
A large swarm of Akatas stampeded silently out of the surrounding woods, and began to look for any way into the Witchlight Watchtower. Pounding on doors and shuttered windows, they flowed over the tower like a tide of night.
The group began to attack the Akatas as best they could from their vantage points, on the observation level of the tower, and from the arrow slits. Akatas fell, only to be replaced by their fellows, still beating at the various entrances to the tower. Then, a tremor shook the tower. Segnar was immediately aware of what was happening – the tower itself was a solid lump of rock, extruded from the ground and strengthened with interior supports. However, it stood on a ridge, overlooking the sea. The weight of the Akatas was causing the ground around the tower to become unstable, and it was likely only a matter of time before it gave way.
The group continued to rain missiles, acid and bombs onto the Akatas, until one of them finally broke through on the bottom floor, and mauled one of the remaining cyphermages. Segnar and Vanessada ran downstairs to stem the tide. Another, stronger, tremor shook the tower, knocking several people from their feet.
Seeing what was likely to happen, John prepared to leap from the tower. On the bottom floor, Segnar moved in to plug the breach in the defences, preventing any further Akatas from gaining entrance, while Vanessada moved to stabilise the cyphermage who had been injured in the breakthrough. And that was when the foundations the tower had been raised on collapsed.
The tower, being quite strongly constructed, fell over onto its side and began to roll down the slope, towards the lagoon below. In the chaos that ensued, several of the party were able to extricate themselves from the tower, and rode the avalanche of soil in its wake to the bottom.
As the tower and debris hit the water, a strange thing happened – all of the Akatas in the water suddenly began silently thrashing, as the sea water burned them like acid. After a short time, nothing remained of any of the strange creatures that had been swept into the water.
After rescuing the cyphermages from the wreckage of the tower, the group made camp on the beach, seeing this as the safest place in case of further Akata attack. Contact with the Captain of the Cloud Dancer was made, and he arranged to be at the docks the next morning.
During the night, a pair of harpies attacked the camp, but the group was able to fend them off with little trouble.
The following morning, the group and the Cyphermages made the arduous trek up the ridge back to Witchlight, and then down the trail to the docks to meet the Cloud Dancer. The surviving Cyphermages gratefully boarded the vessel, with Samaritha promising to get in touch via Sending every 48 hours.
The group then trekked back onto the island, towards the crater. After some time travelling through the wilderness, they began to search the crater for signs of skymetal, or other items of interest. A small quantity of skymetal was recovered, but nowhere near as much as would be expected from the size of the blast, despite spending quite some time searching. John briefly set up a research site, to examine the remains of the Akatas and the skymetal, and sure enough, a small group of Akatas attacked.
Moving on the next morning, the group began to make their way towards the ruined tower at the eastern end of the island. Along the way, they met with a patrol of thugs, led by Akron Erix, Clegg Zincher’s right-hand man. John immediately asked for an audience with Clegg, and the group was taken to their camp.
The camp itself seemed to be setting up for the long haul. A partial palisade had already been erected, and it was clear that it was being extended to eventually surround the entire camp. Empty wooden cages had been built at the rear of the encampment as well. Clegg’s pavillion, and immense red tent 15 feet tall and twenty feet wide, was just as ostentatious inside as out. Divided into two rooms, the ‘sitting room’ the party was led into was opulent.
After a short while, Clegg spoke to the group, and basically outlined his plan to capture Akatas for his arena. He requested that the group help out with a few tasks, namely capturing some Akatas alive, and perhaps helping to remove some of the larva from his infected men, without killing the larva. The group readily agreed, and Clegg said his men would pitch a new tent for them, right near his.
Segnar noticed during the conversation that Clegg had acted a little strangely. He had avoided saying certain things, and used strange ways of saying others. Segnar was convinced that Clegg was under a magical charm of some sort.
John and Vanessada were shown to the infirmary tent by Akron. Both worked to save the few infected men, while John also attempted to remove the larval Akatas alive. The first attempt resulted in the host living, but the parasites dying. Akron told the pair that he knew Clegg’s priority was for the larva to survive, and so they retried their efforts, and were able to save both on the second attempt.
At this point, the group retired for the night, and the session came to an end.